Friday, January 17, 2014

I Have a Cunning Plan!

Phew! It has been a while since I have posted. Things have been very busy with work, the Holidays and generally crazy "life stuff"!

I'll admit that after Beach-to-Battleship 70.3 I got pretty lazy. What started as "take it easy for a few weeks" became "do hardly anything at all in November and December"! I don't particularly feel the need to apologize for this, as I was feeling pretty exhausted and a little burned out with training, so I took a minimalistic approach (just the odd run here and there) and enjoyed the holidays - the scale tells me that, perhaps, I enjoyed them a little too much!

Now that 2014 is well underway I am back in the swing of things and enjoying "getting my Mo Jo back" as The Coachman called it. Not only that, but this is no random training routine - I have a cunning plan!

No, that's not me! That's "Baldrick" from the highly popular BBC TV series Blackadder. He frequently came up with a "cunning plan" that was invariably completely ridiculous or doomed to failure.... I'm pretty sure that my "cunning plan" is no more likely to be successful than Baldrick's, but here it is:

Trumpets please....

I'm going to do a full 140.6 mile Ironman race in 2015 with (at least) Compass and (hopefully) Flipper and Snort.

There, I said it.... have I lost my freakin' mind? Probably, but I'm going to give it a go anyway. Having now completed three 70.3 mile "half Ironman" races (rev 3. South Carolina; Raleigh Ironman 70.3 and Beach-to-Battleship) I feel confident that if I train properly I can do this. If I'm going to do 140.6 miles it might as well be a "destination race" under the Ironman brand. I originally thought that I might give it a go this year, but three major considerations made me delay until 2015:

1. Quite simply, I couldn't find a race that hadn't already sold out that fit with the Sassoon family schedule (many of these races sell out 12 months in advance).

2. The Madbirds agreed to do one together, but Compass managed to get herself knocked-up and will become a Mom at some point over the next few weeks. She needs time to get back to her training and racing shape (and she has absolutely no idea what she's in for - it's all quite cute!)

3. Finally, if I am going to do this, I am going to do this properly and I want to address some of my triathlon limiters this year before going big.

At this point we have not decided what race we will do, but Ironman Florida and Ironman Chattanooga seem to be strong candidates.

So... what does all of this mean for 2014? I hear you ask. Well, actually I don't, but I'm going to bore you with the details anyway!

This year I want to work on form and speed (the two being related of course!). To help me get faster I have come up with a few key objectives that I'll be working on:

* Significantly improve my core strength and flexibility. The Coachman has already introduced a lot more core work into my training calendar and I intend to really improve my proficiency with the TRX. There are a lot of planks in my future!

* Focus on Olympic distance races. I'm already signed-up for Raleigh Ironman 70.3 again, but apart from that I will stay shorter. Olympic races maintain a good swim distance (1500 M) and a nice hard 10k at the end.

* Lose weight! (and, as importantly, drastically decrease my body fat percentage). I feel that 180 lbs would be a good race weight for me - we'll see! The year has started well with healthy eating and zero alcohol since January 1st.

* Improve my technique - especially swim and run. Lots of run drills; hopefully a gait analysis and attend the OSB Powerstroke Clinic in the spring.

* More bike miles and train with a power meter. I'm still researching types and brands of power meter, but I'll be flashing my credit card when/if my bonus comes through!

* A little more open water swim work e.g. with the Beaver Dam group on Wednesday nights once the water warms up a bit.

To help move things forward it's always good to have some races to look forward to. Here's my early season calendar:

March - a local 5k or two. As yet undecided.

Sunday April 13th. Raleigh Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I will likely run this with fellow St. Timothy's School parent Leigh Baker - should be a hoot!

Saturday April 26th. Arlington Place Olympic Triathlon. Arapahoe, NC. Set-up Events.

Sunday May 4th. Raven Rock Ramble. 100 mile(+) bike ride.

Saturday May 20th (tentative). Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge 1.2 miles.

Saturday May 17th. Cary Duathlon (short course)

Sunday June 1st. Raleigh Ironman 70.3

Phew! I'm already tired just thinking about it! Really "pumped" though.... it's going to be a great season!